How to Choose Bar Mitzvah Dances

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A bar mitzvah is an opportunity to celebrate your son's accomplishments, and dancing has always been a traditional part of the party. Know how to dance and what dances to choose, ensuring that you, your son and your guests can all have a great time.

Things You'll Need

  • Music provided by a DJ or band

Choose Traditional Dances

  • Plan to dance the hora, a traditional Jewish and Israeli folk dance. Usually accompanied by the popular Hebrew song "Hava Negilah," guests form concentric circles, hold hands and move quickly in a circular direction with a sideways, crossover dance step.

  • Feature a chair dance as one of the highlights of the party. The bar mitzvah boy sits on a chair and is hoisted up and held aloft by other guests. Make sure to have taller people in the front to keep the chair tilted back, allowing the bar mitzvah boy to have his hands free.

  • Have dancers form a circle, taking turns in the middle to act out, mime or do a silly, funny or complicated dance to entertain the bar mitzvah boy.

Choose Popular Dances

  • Start things off with an icebreaker dance like the Snowball. The bar mitzvah boy will choose a partner (mom, grandma, girlfriend), and the two will dance alone on the floor for a minute. Soon, the DJ or band will call, "Snowball." Each dancer chooses a new partner, and the cycle repeats.

  • Choose group dances to get everyone on the floor and moving. The "YMCA," Electric Slide and "Macarena" are popular group dances.

  • Start a train dance and pick up guests as your train weaves along. See how many people you can get to join and how long you can keep the train going.

  • Have a variety of different dances, encouraging guests of all ages to participate. Mix it up with music from different styles and eras.

Plan a Dancing Schedule

  • Hire a DJ or band that specializes in bar mitzvah music. Look through offered play lists and choose a selection of popular and traditional songs that your guests will recognize.

  • Pick your favorite songs and match them to the special dances you want to highlight. Let the DJ or band know when you want them to be played during the party.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider hiring a DJ who also provides a dance team. They will lead the dancing, help to keep the party on track and provide extra entertainment for your guests.

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